A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Chapters 46 - 48
The family brings in the new year, 1917, happily, with a little drink for everyone. Katie is worried that they will have their father's take of the bottle, but they dislike alcohol and she is relieved. Francie misses Johnny, but sees so much of him in Neeley that she is happy. She wishes for male companionship. Sissy falls in love with her husband John, whose actual name is Steve, after five years of marriage because the newspapers printed a story that her first husband was just killed in a fire. They were never officially divorced, so Sissy and Steve get a divorce from her other husbands immediately and remarry in the Church. Sissy also discovers that her baby, the one she feigned pregnancy and took from Lucia, looks just like Steve. She thinks it really is his baby, but still wants to try to have another one of her own despite her growing age.
War is declared and it changes everyone's lives. Prices go up, Francie loses her job, but soon gets another one in a Communications Corporation as a typist and operator. She plans to live every day to its fullest since the war started. "Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere-be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost." Chapter 48, pg. 413. Since Francie works at night, Katie wants her to go to high school during the day. She refuses to do so by saying that she has already learned so much from reading newspapers everyday, that high school would be too simple. She want to go to Brooklyn Heights College for summer school, so Katie takes some of her money from the bank and gets an application for her saying that she has been privately-educated. Francie can hardly believe that she is in college when her grandparents could not even read or write.